Agriculture, Economics and Nature
University of Western Australia
Coursera
list 7 sequences
assignment Level : Introductive
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
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Key information

credit_card Free access
verified_user Fee-based Certificate
timer 14 hours in total

About the content

Sound economic thinking is crucial for farmers because they depend on good economic decision making to survive. Governments depend on economic information to make good policy decisions on behalf of the community. This course will help you to contribute to better decision making by farmers, or by agencies servicing agriculture, and it will help you to understand why farmers respond to policies and economic opportunities in the ways they do. You can use this course to improve your skills and knowledge, and to assess whether this is a subject that you'd like to study further. The course includes high-quality video lectures, interviews with experts, demonstrations of how to build economic models in spreadsheets, practice quizzes, and a range of recommended readings and optional readings. Assessment is by a final exam. The key economic principles that we’ll learn about can help us understand changes that have occurred in agriculture, and support improved decision making about things like agricultural production methods, agricultural input levels, resource conservation, and the balance between agricultural production and its environmental impacts. There are literally thousands of agricultural economists around the world who work on these issues, so there is a wealth of knowledge to draw on for the course. Watch a brief video about our course here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_IeYGpeqV8

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Syllabus

  • Week 1 - Agricultural production and prices, and agriculture’s reliance on natural resources
    Week 1 provides a history of agricultural production and prices, an examination into the reasons behind changes in production and prices, and discussions of the 2007 global food crisis and agriculture’s usage of resources.
  • Week 2 - Resource and environmental challenges facing agriculture
    Week 2 addresses the agricultural issues of water availability, peak phosphorus, herbicide resistance, and climate change.
  • Week 3 - The economics of agricultural inputs
    Week 3 looks at the relationship between inputs and outputs, the optimal level of an input, the question of pollution from inputs, and flat payoff functions.
  • Week 4 - The economics of land conservation
    Week 4 focuses on evaluating land conservation practices, weighing benefits and costs correctly, non-economic factors, and provides an example in conservation agriculture.
  • Week 5 - The economics of agri-environmental projects
    Week 5 discusses the importance of extending economics beyond the farm gate, characteristics of agri-environmental projects, Benefit: Cost Analysis, and provides an example with Gippsland Lakes.
  • Week 6 - Government policies in agriculture
    Week 6 ties up the course through discussion of government policies that support agriculture, policies that protect the rural environment, policies with problems, and justifications for agricultural policy.
  • Week 7 - Final Exam
     
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Intructors

Professor David Pannell, BSc(Agric), BEc, PhD
UWA School of Agriculture and Environment
University of Western Australia

Jacob Hawkins, BA(Biol), MESM, PhD
School of Agricultural and Resource Economics
University of Western Australia

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Content designer

The University of Western Australia (UWA) was established in 1911 and continues to set the standard for other West Australian universities. Staff, students and graduates from the University have been recognised at state, national and international levels, and UWA continues to confirm its standing as one of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities. UWA's leaders and researchers work in partnership with three domestic and international networks, the Group of Eight, Matariki and the Worldwide Universities Network.
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Platform

Coursera is a digital company offering massive open online course founded by computer teachers Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller Stanford University, located in Mountain View, California. 

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